If you’re just a little bit informed about sustainable living, you know that one of the best methods to protect our environment is companies producing less and individuals buying less. While big corporations need to start doing their part in saving resources and producing less emissions, there’s a vital contribution that lies in your power: taking good care of your possessions in order to use them for as long as you can.
Can sustainable brands make a difference?
Lauren practices taking care of what she owns to her best abilities, but still sees herself confronted with most Bikinis starting to disintegrate after just one season. “I’ve had the idea to develop sustainably and ethically produced swimwear for quite a while, but I’ve questioned whether my contribution would have lasting positive consequences for the planet”, Lauren recalls. “There are many brands already stepping up, educating the public about the negatives of fast fashion and using durable materials made from recycled plastic for their products. If I joined in and provided my own swimwear line with environmentally friendly products, wouldn’t I just be adding more newly produced goods to the myriad of swimsuits already in existence? Wouldn’t another swimwear brand still contribute to people buying something new sooner than they’d need to?”
These aren’t easy questions to answer and for quite a while Lauren was mulling them over, so she put them up for debate: “On my instagram account I’ve always reflected many thoughts and ideas publicly, because I appreciate my followers’ input and perspectives”, she reminisces. “So it was only natural to put my questions out on my stories.”
The majority of the responses was absolutely in favour of Lauren pursuing the creation of XALI. “Quite a few voices argued that starting a new sustainable swimwear line would only add to, and not take away from the cause of trying to achieve a mindset shift in producers and consumers”, she explains. “The more people you can reach with education about the negative impacts of fast fashion and the more options you give them to quit it, the more other companies will need to change their approach. If it becomes popular to invest in a timeless and long lasting bikini, it will hopefully create incentives for bigger brands to make a switch as well, because they might otherwise lose a big chunk of their customers.”
If you can't get it 2nd hand, get the eco-option
While doing clothing exchanges with your friends or buying at thrift shops is always more eco friendly than buying newly produced goods, in case of swimsuits there is an obvious hurdle: “I don’t know about you, but unless it’s stated that a swimsuit at a second hand shop has not been worn previously, I wouldn’t really like getting one. Not everyone would feel comfortable buying a garment that has been in close contact with intimate parts”, Lauren clarifies. In the case of swimwear it’s understandable if your choice is to buy new if you’re lacking it in your wardrobe. So the crucial part is stepping in and offering sustainable and ethical options that people want to choose over the cheap ones made to fall apart.
Lauren recognizes: “I’m so grateful to everyone who wrote to me and let me know their perspectives, because these two main reasons were what helped me make up my mind and continue with XALI. Without you, I would probably still be contemplating the issue. Now I’m optimistic that I’m already contributing to making positive change.” She’s extremely happy that the women who manufacture her swimsuits get the work conditions and additional benefits they deserve and that creating the recycled materials contributes to cleaning up the oceans.
The birth of XALI
There’s one last thing she still needs to reveal: What’s the meaning of XALI? “When I was brainstorming for a name I came across the Greek word Zàli (ζάλη (záli̱)), which means ‘swim’. I really loved the word, pronunciation and meaning, but chose my own spelling to make the brand unique. I find XALI very visually pleasing.”